Wednesday, March 31, 2010

confess [kuhn-fes]
to acknowledge or avow (a fault, crime, misdeed, weakness, etc.) by way of revelation; to own or admit as true
Synonyms include: admit, affirm, attest, declare
The church was dim, light visible only from small corners and shrines filled with candles aglow. I stood in one of many lines, well behind a dozen or so of people, who all seemed to be doing what I was doing - making a mental list of sins.
Every Lenten and Advent season, churches have penance services. On these evenings, a tiny collection of priests from neighboring parishes, gather to hear confessions from every person who, for all intents and purposes, seek bona fide forgiveness from God. There are regular confession hours every week, but of course there have to be penance services for people like me who never make the time to go. If there was such a thing as an Easter resolution, going to confession regularly would be mine.
"Bless me, father, for I have sinned," I began.
"When did you make your last confession," Fr. John asked.
"Before last Easter," I whispered rather shamefully.
"Alright then," he said. "What are your sins?"
In that moment, I fell silent. I couldn't believe it. All I did in line for almost an hour was create a short presentation of all my faults. It felt, honestly, like preparing for an audition. I was almost waiting to answer to, "Anna Lissa Gonda, for the role of sinner?" But when finally summoned, I couldn't remember a thing. I'm sure it was only a 5-second long momentary lapse, but it felt like an eternity of dumbfoundedness. Finally, as if possessed by a second wind, I let it all out and Fr. John was kind enough to listen so intently, that he took the time after my unloading to go over every sin.
It was like getting a graded paper back and then sitting down with the professor to discuss all the sections marked in red. We talked about praying the rosary, the importance of placing God first in our lives and lastly, the monumental task of forgiveness.
"It's never easy to forgive someone who hurt us," Fr. John said reassuringly. "So if you just can't get yourself to do it, then at least let God know that you want to, and that you need help getting there."
Aaaah, asking for help...from God. Was there ever a simpler solution for keeping yourself from sin?

1 comment:

Tam said...

how appropriate you share this on Holy Thursday...i actually wrote a reflection on it...if you want to check it out:

sending a prayer for you today...